IDC Lowers PC Outlook for 2015, While the Long-Term Outlook Improves Slightly
[ Back ]   [ More News ]   [ Home ]
IDC Lowers PC Outlook for 2015, While the Long-Term Outlook Improves Slightly

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — March 12, 2015 — Worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -4.9% in 2015, a drop from the previous forecast of -3.3%, while growth projections for 2016 and 2017 were raised slightly, according to the International Data Corporation ( IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Fourth quarter 2014 (4Q14) results were 1.7% ahead of forecast, but economic and product changes will create a head wind in the short term. Total 2015 volume is projected at 293.1 million PCs, slipping a little further to 291.4 million in 2019. In value terms, the PC market reached US$201 billion in 2014, a decline of -0.8%, and is expected to fall another -6.9% in 2015 with smaller declines in subsequent years bringing the total to US$175 billion by 2019.

Although portions of the market saw genuine improvements in demand during the second half of 2014, part of the 4Q14 volume was inflated by an inventory build-up of "Windows 8.1 + Bing" systems in anticipation of Microsoft scaling back subsidies in early 2015. IDC expects the short term impact to hit consumer channels as they work to clear stock. In addition, average prices are likely to rise in the near term with the scaling back of Bing subsidies, the strong US Dollar (which makes systems more expensive abroad), and the continuing shift to slim, convertible, and touch-based systems. Furthermore, while recent processor updates have generated positive reception, more significant product refreshes from the likes of Intel (Skylake platform) and Microsoft (Windows 10) will be released later in the year, shifting OEM product updates and consumer interest toward later in 2015.

"Fortunately for PC makers, tablet growth has slowed," said Jay Chou, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide PC Trackers. "The PC ecosystem has also begun to see some fruits from efforts to narrow the divide between the PC and mobile devices in terms of both user experience and price points. Nevertheless, much more needs to be done as advances in both hardware and software are expected to benefit an ever wider spectrum of form factors, such as 2-in-1 devices that will further siphon volume from notebooks."

Emerging markets continue to struggle, finishing 2014 with a decline of 9.5% in PC shipments and with 2015 growth projections lowered to -4.7%, pushing volume down throughout the forecast. Continued political instability, commodity pricing pressures, and currency devaluations in these regions have curtailed spending across a number of sectors, including public projects that provided a boost in recent years. Competition from other devices such as phones, tablets, and wearable tech also pose an ongoing challenge to PC spending. Although emerging regions are still expected to see positive growth by 2017, shipment projections remain below 160 million units through 2019, down from 163.7 million in 2014.

Mature regions continued to fare better, ending 2014 with positive growth of 8.4% for the year, the first growth year since 2010. This growth was supported by XP system replacements, slowing tablet purchases, and aggressive PC pricing. Nevertheless, PC volumes in mature regions are expected to drop by -5.1% in 2015 with incremental declines thereafter. Building on the strength of 2014 volume as well as attractive products in the premium and low-priced segments, projections for PC volume in mature regions are up slightly to 134 million in 2019 from the prior forecast of 130 million.

The introduction of Windows 10 later this year is expected to be well received and support the Windows ecosystem, including some replacements. However, it will also provide a better experience with mouse and keyboard, effectively relieving some pressure to move toward touch, and support non-PC devices like 2-in-1s, likely without boosting total PC shipments significantly.

"The gains in mature regions for 2014 helped stabilize the market, but any opportunity for long-term growth depends on reviving growth in emerging regions, and that seems unlikely with the shift toward mobile devices," said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. "Even including 2-in-1 systems would only boost the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for total PC shipments through 2019 from -1.1% to 0.5%. Vendors can focus on growth segments of the PC market such as AIO, slim and convertible PCs, or consolidate share, but pressure on pricing and from competing devices will continue to make it a challenging market."

PC Shipments by Region and Product Category (Shipments in millions)

Region       Product Category       2014       2015*       2019*    
Emerging Markets       Desktop PC       80.4       76.8       75.2
Emerging Markets Portable PC 83.2 79.1 83.7
Emerging Markets Total PC 163.7 156.0 159.0
Mature Markets Desktop PC 53.4 48.7 45.8
Mature Markets Portable PC 91.1 88.4 86.7
Mature Markets Total PC 144.5 137.1 132.5
Worldwide Desktop PC 133.8 125.5 121.0
Worldwide Portable PC 174.3 167.5 170.4
Worldwide       Total PC       308.1       293.1       291.4

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarter PC Tracker, February 25, 2015
* Forecast data
See Table and Taxonomy Notes below.

In addition to the table above, an interactive graphic illustrating worldwide Desktop and Portable PC shipments and Total PC market growth for 2013-2016 is available here. Instructions on how to embed this graphic into online news articles and social media can be found by viewing this press release on

PC Shipment Growth by Region and Product Category

Region       Product Category       2014       2015*       2019*    
Emerging Markets       Desktop PC       -6.1%       -4.5%       -0.4%
Emerging Markets Portable PC -13.5% -4.9% 1.5%
Emerging Markets Total PC -9.5% -4.7% 0.6%
Mature Markets Desktop PC 4.6% -8.8% -2.1%
Mature Markets Portable PC 10.8% -2.9% -0.8%
Mature Markets Total PC 8.4% -5.1% -1.3%
Worldwide Desktop PC -2.1% -6.2% -1.0%
Worldwide Portable PC -2.3% -3.9% 0.3%
Worldwide       Total PC       -2.2%       -4.9%       -0.2%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarter PC Tracker, February 25, 2015
* Forecast data

Table Note: Mature Markets include U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and Canada. Emerging Markets includes Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Middle East, and Africa (MEA).

Taxonomy Note: PCs include Desktop, Mini Notebook and other Portable PCs which possess non-detachable keyboards, and do not include handhelds or tablets such as the Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface Pro, or Android Tablets.

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker gathers PC market data in more than 80 countries by vendor, form factor, brand, processor brand and speed, sales channel and user segment. The research includes historical and forecast trend analysis as well as price band and installed base data. For more information, or to subscribe to the research, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC.

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.


International Data Corporation
Loren Loverde, 305-351-3115
Email Contact
Jay Chou, 650-350-6464
Email Contact
Michael Shirer, 508-935-4200
Email Contact